Posted: 08/06/21 by Age UK Northamptonshire
As a local independent charity that provides support and services to older carers in the county, Age UK Northamptonshire is always a passionate supporter of Carers Week. Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to see themselves as carers and encourages them to seek out the support that is available.
Val Collins, Co-ordinator of Age UK Northamptonshire’s Carers Sitting Service, says she has noticed an increase in the number of enquiries in the past month, especially since restrictions were relaxed allowing indoor hospitality to re-open in May. Older carers who have struggled with little or no support during the last year are understandably desperate to visit their friends or restart their regular club activities and meet up with social groups. The need to shield and the risk of catching the virus has meant carers have hardly had a break and this has not been an easy situation for anyone; not for the carer, nor for the older person they look after.
Age UK Northamptonshire’s Chief Executive Chris Duff said “This last year has been hard for many older people, especially those with caring responsibilities. Research by the national charity Age UK shows that 780,000 carers in the UK are aged 80+ and one in three older people aged over 65 is a carer. In the November lockdown, 4 million older carers said they had received no respite in the previous month. “But we can help,” says Chris.
“Our Carers Sitting Service provides a carer to sit with a loved one, enabling the carer to take a break. We also offer them chance to talk to someone who understands and who will listen to them. We can provide information on benefits and allowances, aids and adaptations and we can signpost people to carers groups across the county”
Older carers are encouraged to get in touch with Age UK Northamptonshire on 01604 611200 or visit theirwebsite at www.ageuknorthants.org.uk for more information.